It's hard work playing outdoor stages in the Louisiana heat and humidity, but Scott Aiges is trying to make the payoff a little bit sweeter for Jazz Fest performers.
Just like Austin's South by Southwest music extravaganza has a music business conference coinciding with hundreds of performances, Aiges has created Sync Up at Jazz Fest. As director of programming, marketing and communications for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Aiges created the midweek event to connect a couple of music-buying communities with Louisiana artists.
"The ultimate goal is to leverage the impact of Jazz Fest to help musicians tap into other worldwide festival talent buyers and licensing people for film productions," Aiges says. "There are all of these movies being shot down here but very few of them use music from here."
Aiges was instrumental in getting the Legislature to approve tax credits for music production similar to the film tax credits, which offer tax credits of up to 25 percent of money spent in-state for qualifiying production components. Directors and producers may come to Louisiana to shoot a film because they are aware of the film credits, Aiges explains, but licensing music is post-production work that involves other people.
"The "music supervisor' is brought on during post-production back in California," he says. "They don't know about the credits. They don't know about music here. If there's $500 million in film budgets being spent in Louisiana, then there should be at least $10 million of music budgets that is spent here."
For Sync Up, Aiges identified the 12 most active film tax-credit program participants and invited their music buyers and key decision makers. Those participants and festival talent buyers will spend the week touring local studios, meeting local producers and musicians, and listening to bands at the fest.
Another feature of Sync Up is to introduce participants to a Web site the foundation is creating to serve as a searchable business-to-business database for local bands. It will include information searchable by genre, mood, tempo, lyrical content and keywords so studio music producers can find appropriate material
The Web site is free for local bands to sign up. Aiges would like to see the database grow to include more than the 80 bands that have already posted information. Currently, the site doesn't collect a commission from either the band or the buyer. Information is available at www.jazzandheritage.org/syncup.
Many Sync Up events are for invitees only, but there are panel discussions by industry people about licensing issues that are open to the public (10 a.m.-noon Fri.-Sat., May 2-3) at the foundation's offices
(1205 N. Rampart St., 558-6100).
- Scott Aiges created Sync Up to leverage Jazz Fest exposure to help Louisiana musicians.